Adorno understands the concept of dialectics.

Interviewee: Neala Schleuning

Adorno isn’t Hegelian but he understands the concept of dialectics and he understands the concept of the dynamics, the instructiveness of dialectics and the energy of it. And so that’s how he comes to articulate his own views of autonomy. Autonomy isn’t like the avant-garde that is outside. It is the avant-garde that is inside. He called for a “dialectical aesthetics” where each element was mutually dependent and mutually reinforced the other. Art “lives” in these tensions between the cognitive understanding and the materiality of art, between objective and subjective. But understanding is not reducible to a simplistic formula. Art must stand dialectically in relation to the immanent reality. He wrote, “Not experience alone, but only thought that is saturated with experience is equal to the phenomenon.” Meaning is a process of becoming.

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